Maintaining a relevant and strong online presence is of utmost importance to large and small businesses alike. Small businesses have a reputation that is either made by a successful online presence, or broken by a weak online presence. Large companies have the advantage of large-scale brand recognition as a buffer, but small business do not have that luxury. One misstep by a small business employee can mean the end of a company, which is why curating a careful online presence is important.
Many small businesses are simply content with a social media website in lieu of a web presence through a website or a blog. This was discovered after San Mateo’s Research study of 1050 business with an employee work-force of anywhere from one to forty nine people. Why? Small businesses often don’t have extensive IT and marketing resources, so they believe that using a social media medium is easier than hosting their own Web presence. Websites like Facebook and Instagram provide easily digestible templates through which companies can convey their business’s goals and values. However, missing out on your own domain can be detrimental to your business. First off, having an online domain lends significance to your company. It provides a flocking ground and a reference point for your customers to learn more about your company. Though many small businesses fear the costs, technical learning curve, and time investment needed to start their own domains, they fail to see the long-term gains these easily overcome hurdles can make.
The domain can be a jumping off portal to the company’s social media accounts. It can host a blog in order to garner more customer interest in the fields relevant to the company. For example, say a small health clinic starts an internet domain. Their blog can include posts about the latest diet trends, healthy ways to lose weight, articles on mental health and sleep hygiene, etc. These posts not only add to the customer’s knowledge of relevant information, but can also indirectly garner more interest in the original business at hand. It’s a great way to differentiate yourself and make your company look professional and established from the get to, which can go far in attracting more clients. This makes it easier to take some customers away from the “big name brand companies”, and attract them to your own business.
Having a strong online presence also helps with networking . So much networking has now gone virtual. For a business to lack that platform through which so much dialogue and interactions flow is to lose out on a rich opportunity to make valuable connections. Make sure that you carefully curate what material you make visible online. Keep the topics and the conversations professional and work friendly. No one wants to see pictures of you and your buddies at the bar linked into the company’s Facebook page. However, pictures of a company luncheon or a business dinner would be fine. Email marketing is also a great way to reach people consistently, keeping their interest in your company. A strong email campaign (but not so strong that it gets regarded as spam) can do wonders for increasing company reach and visibility.
Keeping your Job
Remember, when you go your business goes. Keeping a professional online presence gives you the opportunity to grow. It also provides quite a bit of job security if your business is on an upwards trend. Whether you’re lower down or higher up on the company’s hierarchy letter, having the company do well is never a bad thing for any of the employees involved. Expanding your company’s online presence might help you start your own company down the road or it may help move you up the ladder. Maybe it will help establish your company’s standing in a larger market, which can be beneficial if you ever decide to switch career fields or companies. Either way, having a strong and visible online presence is just as important as having a strong marketing strategy. The video below is a great resource for the importance of online visibility.